Marketing Knowledge/Marketing Wisdom

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I have a friend who defines knowledge as knowing that a tomato is a fruit – and wisdom as knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

I suspect that a similar analogy can be made for marketing.

We are all busy acquiring knowledge – in social media marketing, in mobile marketing, in customer relations management (CRM), in customer engagement, in “content” marketing, and on and on. As soon as there is a new buzz word or piece of jargon created (by whomever), marketers feel compelled to elevate it to the level of a discipline. Disciplines, of course, demand “right” and “wrong” ways of doing things. And with that come consultants and academics to “teach” us.

Sure, all of this accumulated knowledge is important. We need to keep up with the jargon and trends, even if only to know which will be lasting and which will be passing fashions.

But none of this leads to marketing wisdom.

Marketing wisdom is at once more complex and far simpler than all the new media and mechanisms (and pundits and consultants) would suggest.

Marketing wisdom is the ability to judge which trends and mechanisms to ignore as well as which ones to exploit – and how to exploit them profitably.

Marketing wisdom is knowing the difference between strategy and tactics.

Marketing wisdom is knowing how to reach customers and prospects in language they understand, with messages they want to hear.

Marketing wisdom is knowing when the so-called “experts” are blowing smoke.

Marketing wisdom is knowing that when you do what “everyone knows” is the right thing or the right way to do it, you are positioning yourself and your company in the middle of the crowd, in the midst of all the marketplace noise.

Marketing wisdom is knowing that not every mechanism is right for your company/products.

Marketing wisdom is knowing that not every trend should be followed. It depends on your industry, your marketplace, your company.

Marketing wisdom is knowing what belongs in your marketing mix – and how it fits with your strategy.

Marketing wisdom is knowing what to put in your fruit salad.

Emily R. Coleman
Dr. Emily R. Coleman is President of Competitive Advantage Marketing, Inc., a firm that specializes in helping companies expand their reach and revenues through strategy and implementation. Dr. Coleman has more than 30 years of hands-on executive management experience working with companies, from Fortune 500 firms to entrepreneurial enterprises. Dr. Coleman's expertise extends from the integration of corporate-wide marketing operations and communications to the development and implementation of strategy into product development and branding.

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